More than 5,000 colleagues disclosed a disability in our most recent colleague survey. We also potentially serve around six million customers affected by disability or long term health issues.
Traditionally, employment of disabled people in the UK has focused on making changes to physical infrastructure or working practices. We challenge this assumption and want to move the debate from simply accommodating disabilities to developing talent and providing careers, not just jobs. Our disability commitment is spearheaded by David Oldfield, Group Director, Retail and Consumer Finance. David is the Executive Sponsor for Disability and leads the Group’s Disability Programme.
We’re recognised as a leading employer by the Business Disability Forum, retaining our Gold Standard Benchmark in 2014 and running a ground-breaking Workplace Adjustment programme that has supported over 18,000 colleagues to date.
We work closely with Remploy to provide a work experience programme for people with disabilities, and are a proud partner of the Power 100 2017, which celebrates Britain's most inspiring and influential disabled people as role models for others.
The Business Disability Forum considers our Workplace Adjustment process for disabled colleagues as being ground breaking. We have worked with them to create a best practice case study that they have shared with around 400 other BDF member organisations and the process was shared at an event at the House of Lords as an example of best practice.
Our workplace adjustments process has received the Disability Smart Award for Adjustments over three consecutive years.
The Group offers development courses specific to colleagues with disabilities including the Personal Development Programme and Career Development Programme. The residential courses are run in conjunction with external disability consultants and have been described as life changing by previous attendees of the course. Over 1,500 disabled colleagues have now benefited from these programmes.
Our Access Network now has over 4,000 members and connects and supports colleagues with disabilities. The network runs a number of high profile initiatives including an annual national event, regular newsletters, a mentoring scheme and colleague development sessions.
Access representatives across the business host disability awareness sessions, signpost colleagues to additional sources of support and promote wider Access activities.
Recognition of our work
In 2016, we retained the Disability Smart Award for the Best Workplace Adjustment Process.
David Oldfield was also named Executive Disability Champion at the European Disability Matters Awards 2016.
Our colleague Network, Access, was recognised as the top Health and Wellbeing Network of the Year at the 2015 Inclusive Network Awards.